The Wrong Impression

John Malcolm, Author Scribner Book Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19252-9
English banker cum art expert Tim Simpson ( Mortal Ruin , etc.) is as urbane an amateur sleuth as Peter Wimsey, and more virile. Here Tim's best friend, inspector Nobby Roberts, is comatose after being attacked while investigating drug deals and money-laundering. Although ordered to stay out of the case by a Scotland Yard commander, Tim picks up a clue dropped by a fetching nurse, which suggests an art angle. The trail leads to a reformed art forger, whose corpse Tim finds. Almost simultaneously he makes fierce enemies of the police, his lover leaves him and the nurse turns up in his bed. The bodies accumulate and Tim himself faces lethal danger before he can solve the puzzles posed by a (possible) long-lost Monet and a Pissarro, art export licenses and vicious drug dealers. Along the way Malcolm offers lore about the impressionists and a witty look at the current art-biz scene: an art dealer is ``like a Ferrari salesman . . . there to flatter the prospect's idea of himself.'' A real treat. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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